PUTRAJAYA - Malaysian authorities have nabbed nearly 1,000 China nationals who were believed to be working in the country with an online scam syndicate, local media reported.
The bust on Wednesday (Nov 20) by the Immigration Department in Cyberjaya was the biggest conducted this year, Bernama news agency said.
On its Facebook, department said the raid was conducted at the syndicate's headquarters in Cyberjaya.
Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the syndicate was operating from a six-storey building in Cyberjaya, a high-technology zone located about an hour south of Kuala Lumpur.
The raid was the end result of a month's worth of surveillance, following complaints from the public.
The office was well secured, with guards stationed at each floor and rooms only being accessible with access cards, The Star reported.
"We seized around 8,230 handphones, 174 laptops and 787 computers. Several of our officers were injured after a group attacked and tried to break through our barricade," Datuk Khairul said at a press conference at the department's headquarters here.
Around 100 escaped, and "we are working with the police to track them down", he said. A video recorded from a building nearby showed a large of group of men suddenly appearing outside a building and running across the streets.
It is known that the group has been operating in Malaysia for around six months and that the building was used as a call centre.
Investigations showed that the group targeted victims in China by offering fast and profitable returns in their investment scams.
"All were found to have entered the country via social visit passes. Nearly all could not produce their passports after being arrested.
"No representative has come forward with their documents and the Chinese embassy has been notified of developments, " he said.
Reuters quoted Mr Khairul as saying in a statement: "The modus operandi of this syndicate is to target victims in China."
He added: "They are offered high and quick profits. The operators send a code to customers of a Mandarin-language website. All transactions were done through WeChat Pay or banks in China."